I have dreams of building a large Sn2 SR&RL layout that contains 6-10 locations along the line in a manner to support Time-Table and Train Order (TT&TO) operations. For a long time, I’ve considered that the Forney’s would relegate my layout designs to no grades. Forney’s being rigid framed 2-4-4 locomotives where 40% of the weight is on the trailing truck tend to lack much power.
However, recently, I have started dreaming of a “continuous helix” layout plan. The plan combines some double deck and some “mushroom” aspects to include 9-10 locations of the SR&RL. The grades required would be 1% on the SRRR, 2% on the P&R and F&M, and 2.5% on the K&D. I’m hoping to have 10-12 car freight trains run on the SRRR, 8-10 freight car trains on the P&R and F&M, and 6-8 car trains on the K&D. My hope is that the maximum lengths could be handled by 2-6-0 and 2-6-2 locomotives, while shorter trains could be handled by 2-4-4 locos and even shorter by 0-4-4 locos. For reference, the prototype SR&RL was known to pull 15 car trains on the SRRR between Farmington and Strong. However, the P&R and F&M had much stiffer grades, reported to be 4% or so, and the K&D into Bigelow was over 4%. I have no idea how long trains were on each of these lines, but one can guess they were around 10 cars, admittedly, the railroad probably hauled mostly empty cars up the grades and loaded cars down the grades.
So, the question comes, how many cars can a Sn2 Forney Pull? The answer is in this video.
Admittedly, the test is on “level” track so does not answer my ultimate question of “How many cars can a Forney pull on a 2% or 2.5% grade?” It does give me hope!